Trinidad and Tobago Economic Outlook
Following Q2 2022’s acceleration, the economy likely expanded at a softer annual pace in Q3. In July–September, economic activity growth came in at 3.9% (Q2: +10.4%). Lower crude oil output and fertilizer exports will have dented the reading. In addition, a higher unemployment rate and surging consumer prices likely eroded household spending. That said, double-digit growth in LNG output will have supported activity somewhat. In Q4, GDP growth likely cooled further. LNG production rose at a slower annual pace through December. Additionally, accelerating household credit growth likely failed to shield consumers fully from the highest inflation rate since 2015. However, still-elevated oil and gas prices will have supported the public budget. Meanwhile, in February, Trinidad offered to process crude oil and natural gas from neighbor states to use its spare energy liquefaction capacity.
Trinidad and Tobago Inflation
Inflation grew further to 8.7% in December, from 8.0% in November. A swelling import bill, adverse weather conditions and lower fuel subsidies pushed price pressures up in Q4. Inflation should cool in 2023 on weaker external price pressures. Surging commodity prices pose upside risks to the outlook.